Tag Archives: confidence

You Want a Social Life, With Friends. (And an apology.)

29 Nov

Hi. Hello. I am here, and I am going to write something.

Before I do, I thought it right for me to apologize for an issue that has been needling me for quite some time now. No, I’m not going to apologize for my six month absence. I might kind of try to explain it though, so hold your horses.

My apology has to do with some things that I’ve written in past posts about fat bodies. In one post, about that terrible wedding I was in, I implied that the kind of awful bride was unattractive because she is fat. I later went on to snidely describe her second husband as “probably weighing 600 lbs”., which again, was my attempt at negating the fact that she found love and marriage for a second time. “Yeah, another person wanted to marry her, but just look at him.” I was saying that without saying it. Probably because I was/am a coward.

In another post, the name and content of which I can’t recall and am both too jittery and lazy to search for, I claimed that proof of my self-love was the fact that I don’t weigh 300 lbs.

I am sorry for writing those things. They are examples of the hatred of fat bodies – including my own – that I’ve internalized from a variety  of sources. I am working at ridding myself of that hate. Tumblr has been a priceless resource in my learning that fat bodies have value, are deserving of love, are beautiful, and can tell us nothing about a person’s health, abilities, or self-esteem.

Surprisingly, no one called me out on the things that I wrote. But maybe someone read my hateful words and was hurt. I couldn’t let that possibility stand without acknowledging how sorry I am, how much I am trying and want to change, and that I am asking for forgiveness. Please forgive me.

I’m leaving those posts up as they are (considering I can’t even find one of them, ugh) and hope that my future pieces will demonstrate my growth and sensitivity since writing them.

Thank you for sticking around as I grow.


 

You Want a Social Life, With Friends

You want a social life, with friends.

A passionate love life and as well

To work hard every day. What’s true

Is of these three you may have two

And two can pay you dividends

But never may have three.

 

There isn’t time enough, my friends-

Though dawn begins, yet midnight ends-

To find the time to have love, work, and friends.

Michelangelo had feeling

For Vittoria and the Ceiling

But did he go to parties at day’s end?

Homer nightly went to banquets

Wrote all day but had no lockets

Bright with pictures of his Girl.

 

I know one who loves and parties

And has done so since his thirties

But writes hardly anything at all.

-by Kenneth Koch

 

I never thought I’d be the type of person to have a favorite poem. I just didn’t think poetry was for me, wasn’t sure that I liked it all that much, the work of Langston Hughes and Shel Silverstein being notable exceptions. And then a few years ago I read Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s 2005 memoir Encyclopedia of An Ordinary Life.

In it she mentions that Kenneth Koch’s You Want a Social life, With Friends is her favorite poem and told a funny story about meeting its author. I read it over and over again, and the next time I was at work, I made a too-dark photocopy and hung it on my fridge.

You Want a Social Life, With Friends resonated with me. I was someone who was chronically lonely, felt confused and like a failure when it came to her career. I was absolutely convinced that “everybody else” had managed to master having fulfilling work, romantic love, and meaningful friendships. I did take solace in Koch’s assertion that “What’s true is of these three you may have two and two can pay you dividends but never may have three.” So, all I had to do – like the Disney villain I am deep in my cold, dark heart – was sit back and wait for my friends and acquaintances to suffer some loss, of a lover, of a job, of friends, because no one can have it all; look, I have proof!

I didn’t really want anyone I knew and liked to lose anything. But I desperately wanted all three for myself, and the poem was a reminder that life is full of sacrifice and compromise and comes without guarantee. Of anything. I remember feeling a chill of foreboding each time I read it after first finding it. I’d find some way to have all three, dammit! I’d beat the odds!

Now, here I am, 35 years old, feeling as lonely as ever; feeling as unfulfilled at work as I hoped to never be.

Part of me believes that there is still hope. That if I can maybe put myself on a writing schedule, something will come of my questionable talent. My current job may even allow me to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in professional writing for cheap or free. The work piece could potentially, someday come together. Maybe.

As far as love and friends? My hope meter is running on empty. Over the summer I did things that made me think “This. This is the moment when the pendulum swung to the other side with such force that I don’t think I’ll be able to move it back.” I let people borrow money, I stopped wearing contacts, and I went on a solo vacation. These events signaled to me that I was barreling towards spinsterhood at a frightening speed.

The money thing was a mistake. I should have known better. I’ve watched enough “Judge Judy” to know that owed money will destroy relationships despite one’s best efforts. Not only have I stopped asking for the money, I’ve stopped communicating with the people who benefited from my foolishness. I don’t think that they’ve noticed. And to be fair, I was – I am – seething under the surface, trying to hide my resentment, my disappointment, how used I feel. I didn’t tell them about my feelings. I didn’t hound them for the cash.

“It’s not fair,” I thought. “They have families and lovers and close friendships and now my money.” I was in communication with them until September, when the people in question suddenly stopped their correspondence. I hoped that I’d hear from them on or around my birthday; they owed me at least that much. I heard nothing. The idea of initiating contact with them makes my heart pound, my gut churn, my hands tremble. The realization that I lent the money with so many invisible strings attached makes me feel ashamed.

How is this a sign of my spinsterhood? I’m like the rich old aunt that never married, who eats store-brand canned soup and has to make it home in time to watch “Jeopardy!”. No one comes around until holiday time, because they know Auntie gives the best gifts, the poor sucker. “I mean, she’s got nobody, hardly any expenses. What does she need all that money for anyway? I’ll send her a card.” The card never comes. I open another can of chicken and rice and set up the TV tray in the living room. Alex Trebek always was a handsome man.

So that’s two friends I’ll never hear from again, or am doomed to have awkward, sporadic contact with when they feel like paying Auntie a pity visit.

The contacts thing and the vacation thing happened simultaneously. I planned a last minute, somewhat haphazardly planned vacation to St. Lucia. I’d never been out of the country alone before and I knew that if I waited until someone could go with me, I’d never travel. I spent five lonely days at a luxury spa. The island was beautiful, the weather lovely, the people damn nice. My tour guide hit on me; it was really uncomfortable, especially considering he did it after telling me that Tyler Perry movies send necessary messages of ‘warning’ to those wacky black women that want to be independent and self-sufficient and in charge.

I met two nice English ladies old enough to be my mother, one also named Ambrosia. We chatted a bit and shared one night of cocktails and a meal together, then spent the rest of the time awkwardly waving to each other across the resort. I was seated at the communal table for other solo travelers on some other night and had an Asian-fusion four course meal with a lady elementary school principal from Canada. It was both better and worse than it sounds.

There was a young, fat, attractive American girl I hoped to befriend. She was alone, was wearing a fatkini, kept her nose in a book. The fact that she made bold fashion choices and liked to read had me sold. She never noticed my smiles, which in all the sunlight and happiness surrounding me may have made it look like I had a bad case of indigestion. I was too chicken to go over and say hello.

On my second day there, I realized that I’d left my contact lens case somewhere in America. I’d recently purchased new, large, bold frames, but have always felt ugly in glasses. I can’t see without either contacts or glasses, so I had no choice. I had to feel ugly for four days in paradise.

I never bothered to renew my lens prescription. I’ve been wearing my trendy glasses full-time since August. On one had, with my nose ring and natural hair, I’m at times convinced that I look okay. Like maybe I know people that live in Brooklyn or smoke weed out of decorative glass pipes or am vegan.

But then other times I’ll catch my reflection in some shiny surface when I’m off guard or try to take a selfie and the person I see looking back at me is a sexless nerd, who read in her hotel room in a foreign, tropical country; who got suckered into lending substantial amounts of money in the hopes that somebody would love her best; who sat and watched other people dance on the last night of her vacation, wearing her ill-fitting glasses while a stray cat took pity on her and kept her company.

I don’t really like that person so much.

She reeks of desperation. Her bug-eyed stare screams “I want a social life, with friends! A passionate love life, and to work hard every day!” I wonder which one of us screams the loudest.

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Triage.

12 Aug

My needs have not been met.

I feel like a jerk for dwelling so much on the fact that a big part of the life that I dreamed about may not come true, which is weird, since I haven’t even had two weeks to process it. I suppose I feel this way because I’ve been under the impression that I’m to just suck it up and move on when it comes to the little tragedies and heartaches I’ve faced.

It has started to dawn on me that I’ve been trying to function for years and basically failing and beating myself up about it. I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t simply be normal and thin and do laundry and put on makeup and make my bed and pack a lunch and be on time and take showers and not scream at my parents and stop fantasizing about killing myself until I finally realized that I’ve been wandering around throughout life for the last decade plus three years with a gaping, festering wound that hasn’t been properly dealt with while adding other wounds around it that don’t fully heal and it truly is a wonder that I’m anywhere at all.

I’ve tried to make people understand the screaming void I feel inside, going without any sort of physical intimacy or love for more than a decade. And it isn’t just about the lack of sex. I see single people who’ve gone without sex for a very long time but have children, and perhaps I’m making a huge and incorrect assumption, but I don’t believe that they suffer in the same way because they can hold their child and kiss their child and feel that incomparable parent/child love and know that they are needed and wanted. I imagine that this is not the case for everyone, but it is still something that I do not and possibly will never have.

To never have been held out of romantic love, to go without feeling someone’s lips against mine, a hand in my own; to not feel the pleasure that another’s body can bring mine and to not know if my body can do the same, to continue to go on without these common human experiences year after year after year and to be expected to feel okay and to function normally? I’m starting to figure that that may have been an expectation too great for me to meet.

Perhaps it would be different if we were talking about three years instead of thirteen. Maybe if there had been a kind and gentle lover or two for me to look back on and fondly remember instead of one man-child whose pleasure was derived from the pain he caused me.

How do I make anyone understand what it does to my feelings of self-worth to admit that the only man to see my naked body mocked it? The only words he uttered were meant to criticize and deliver his displeasure? “Find your beauty from within!” everyone screams! “No one is going to love you if you don’t love yourself!” “There is more to life than sex and relationships! By the way, did I tell you all about the fabulous sex I’m having in my feminist, kink-positive, poly-amorous relationship?”

I would just like someone, for once in all this time, to acknowledge my wounds. I don’t want to be handed anymore band-aids or children’s Tylenol in the form of “Well, let’s redo your Match.com profile!” or “What you need to do is organize your closets.” I need wound care. I need stitches and sutures and cauterization. I need major treatment.

I don’t want to hear that no one knew what was going on; that they couldn’t have helped me because I didn’t say anything. The Ambrosia most people knew died 13 years ago and a zombie has been walking around in her place. I don’t know if there’s anything that can bring her back. She’s probably a long lost cause. But I’m here. Try with me.

When I was around, I don’t know, 22, 23 years old, and the wounds were far more fresh, before the gangrene had started to set in, I went to a counselor on my college campus. A black woman. She’d understand me. She’d see the blood, the tears in my flesh, how the wound wasn’t clotting even after two or three years. I don’t know how far how I got with my story. I was telling her about Christmas, about the gifts he’d demanded, and how I’d nervously driven all over the state to make sure I found each thing on the list, worried about what psychological trauma he’d inflict on me if I failed. I might have even told her about my visit to the emergency room in the middle of the night that he wouldn’t take me to. “If you’re gonna go, you’re going alone” he’d growled. She’d rolled her eyes and thrown her hands up in the air. “He was a 19 year-old boy” she interrupted. “That’s how 19 year-old boys are. I mean, really, what did you expect?” That I years later dated and was rejected by her son only added insult to injury.

Though I don’t want the focus to be all on him, I do want it to be understood how hard it is to feel normal and unbroken when the last relationship you’ve had and the only physical intimacy you’ve known is with someone who was so cruel to you, no matter their age. I can’t believe it took me this long to figure out that this has been the black cloud I’ve been under for so long. And every time someone said that boyfriends and sex were overrated and that I didn’t want one anyway and did I really want children and that I had to focus on loving myself and that I wasn’t trying hard enough to meet people and maybe it was because I went natural or put on weight or didn’t smile enough or lived in the wrong city, they dug their dirty finger deep into my wound when they should have wrapped their arms around me and said “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It’s not your fault. You need to heal. You need to rest. ”

In the meantime, does it mean that while I heal, I must still go without physical, emotional, and sexual intimacy? Do I have to continue to starve? When you starve a thing it dies and I’m afraid that my ability to give and express love and intimacy is in fact dying.

In the meantime, while I heal, can I be brought back to life?

What’s so ‘no’ about no?

13 Dec

See? ‘No’ is so easy to say that a group of middle-aged men got together and wrote a song about it and then had pretty teenaged black girls sing it. Source

I fear that when I return to my currently godforsaken place of employment in 14 hours and 22 minutes that I will have the living shit embarrassed out of me. Yes, more than usual. Here’s why:

Over the summer, a handsome man began to appear fairly regularly at the old jobby-job. In my line of work (and no, I’m not going to come out and tell you what it is) I deal with a lot of students so I just assumed he was one. All the women save for one sensible and fabulous young lady lost their minds whenever he came in. They went crazy for good reason. Picture Jason Statham’s younger, taller, balder, hotter, vaguely Puerto Rican looking brother and you’ve got this guy. I tried my best to keep my cool because I hate attractive people that KNOW they’re attractive and try to capitalize on said attractiveness and I judge attractive people with a harshness that sometimes frightens me. But not for long.

See, I figure if you look that good, something has got to be hella wrong with you. I won’t put the fault(s) I ultimately find on blast. Usually. They’re more for my own peace of mind. Since I didn’t find any right away in Jason 2.0, I figured he had to be stupid or a dick or a stupid dick and he’d show his true self eventually. Because most men and especially conventionally attractive men look past, beyond, and/or through me, Jason 2.0 didn’t phase me at first. The giggling, panting, trembling mess that I used to call my staff and coworkers wanted to know his name, so I said “Hey, what’s your name?” complete with the thug’s chin tilt and everything. They wanted to know what he did so I says to him, I says “And whattya do?” He told me while The Mess looked on like a bunch of baby deer. And that was that. Jason 2.0 was just another human male type person with a nice face. And body. Not that I was looking. Ahem.

Then his visits became more and more frequent. He was always smiling and so personable, even with me. He remembered my name. He was friendly. And I could feel my cold, dead heart start to thaw. Based on his line of work he couldn’t be THAT stupid. He had proven to be kind, even when I was a total bitch and wouldn’t give him the 20 binder clips he asked for, afraid that he was trying to pull one over on me with his handsomeness. I gave him 12 and made a big deal about it. He smiled and was polite through the whole thing.

Even though Jason 2.0 was shaving his head to disguise male pattern baldness and appeared to be wearing at least some obviously fake or heavily repaired teeth, he was still beautiful, relatively smart, and kind. I felt like a troll in his presence and made myself scarce when he came around, answering in one syllable grunts when forced into conversation with him. He had proven to be a damn near flawless attractive person which made me feel all the more ugly by comparison.

Eventually, the tide started to turn when I noticed an ever present goofiness about his personality. I’ve always been drawn to men who are basically floppy puppies in human form and he seemed to be a very eager Golden Retriever, with his big smile and enthusiasm and loud, excited talking. And maybe did I notice him looking at me, like he actually saw me as a woman and not some angry blob keeping him from the binder clips? I started to come out of my shell and actually smile at Jason 2.0 and stay in the room when he entered it. I started to think that maybe he was a safe person to like who might possibly like me back.

So I did what any girl would do to show interest in a potentially special person: I eavesdropped and I lied. While busy with other tasks I listened as he shared his Thanksgiving plans with a coworker, noting his ever present excitement over his favorite team playing on the holiday. I was unwilling to watch the actual game but made sure to find out if they won. They did, and the next time I saw him made a point of grunt-whispering (my specialty!) “Hey, your team won.”

The look on his face was so. . . bright, I guess, that you’d have thought I’d handed him season tickets. “You remembered!” he gasped. I turned red and farted out a “Yeah.” And you wonder why I’m single.

He then asked me sports-type questions and I felt my eyes start to glaze over. I initially told the truth, sort of, saying that I hadn’t watched the game as I didn’t like either team. He asked me who I did like and I lied and told him who my dad likes, as taste in sports teams seems to be genetically inherited and/or geographically based. He “reminded” me about an upcoming game between his team and “mine” and rattled off facts and figures I tried to listen to. I then shouted out names that I hoped had something to do with the sport and we had a friendly rivalry going. I had something to talk to Jason 2.0 about.

I felt particularly brave after all the fibbing I did about being a sports fan, so I sent him an email telling him how excited I was that my team was going to destroy his and thanked him for the chat. He wrote back the next day, writing that he’d be watching the game with friends who liked my team and like to “talk junk” and could see that junk-talking was right up my alley. He ended his message by stating it was always a pleasure chatting with me.

For a minute I thought that maybe I could become a sports fan. I looked up stats and read about the rivalry between the teams. It didn’t take, but I tried. His team beat “mine” by one point. I couldn’t wait for him to stop in so we could resume our good-natured teasing.

He didn’t and I was a bit disappointed, but it’s a busy time of year in our line of work so I thought I’d be brave and reply to his message. I told him I expected him to come in and brag about his team’s win, but figured he hadn’t since a one point win wasn’t anything to brag about. I then wrote the unthinkable: “Hey, would you like to get a coffee or a drink or something with me?”

And here’s where the title of this post comes in. He hasn’t written back. I haven’t seen him either. He came in looking for me on Monday, telling a coworker he had to talk to me about something and for a chunk of time much larger than I’d like to admit I was excited and hopeful. He was looking for me? He has to talk to me about something? I was ready to pick out flatware until it dawned on me: if his answer was yes, he would have written back something along the lines of “Sure. Where and when?” He’s looking for me to tell me no.

I don’t know what it is that makes ‘no’ such a no for men. Maybe it is for women too but I don’t care about them (In this context. There, is that better?). All of my unanswered messages sent on Match.com. The guy a friend tried to set me up with who wouldn’t write back to my message of “Hello! You sound great! Hope to meet ya?” The dork who took me on six dates and spent hours of valuable phone and email time that he could have spent masturbating to his Star Wars action figure collection. Why couldn’t ANY of them just say ‘no’?

Now this ding dong is gonna come all up in my job tomorrow to tell me how he’s flattered, but oh, he just couldn’t. Hey mastermind; you could have saved us both a heap of trouble and sent this to me in a got dang email three to six days ago. Did it never occur to this nincompoop that I might be getting my hopes along with my BMI up? Why would you wait to dash a bitch’s dreams of caressing your bald head? And why would you do it in person?

I guess I should be touched that he’s doing it at all considering my track record. But I’m not because up until about seven hours ago I was delusional enough to think that he was coming in tomorrow to tell me ‘yes’ until I realized how dumb that would be, waiting a week to deliver good news. There’s a reason motherfuckers never fire workers on Monday. Those sadistic bastards get their rocks off from the wait and the week’s worth of labor. The “nice” ones are simply trying to avoid the inevitable.

I am going to get fired by a handsome-ass man tomorrow. I don’t think he’s going to offer me a severance package.

“But Ambrosia, couldn’t you be wrong? What if he did want to wait and say yes and make plans in person?” you ask. Dear reader, don’t be ridiculous. What in my history would make you think that? Remember, my last surprise was some douchenozzle I called a friend decked out in blackface. Jason 2.0 showing up to my job slathered in shoe polish is more likely than him coming to say ‘yes’ to my coffee or whatever date.

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It’s now the tomorrow I was so fearful of above. There’s an hour left till I go wait in line to see The Hobbit by myself  am finished with work and there has been no sign of Jason 2.0. Actually, I can’t say that with complete certainty as I made sure to busy myself in a remote area far from my desk during the time that he usually arrives. Yes, I am a chicken.

That still doesn’t change my frustration. I’ve mentioned before ’round these parts how hurtful being ignored is. To not even deem me worthy of a response is maybe the shittiest thing ever, second only to the explosive diarrhea caused by a BK Veggie Burger. Or so says a friend of mine.

The worst part is that based on his profession he is supposed to be at least a little bit skilled in the art of interpersonal interaction. Did I miss the study that found that people respond more favorably to being ignored and possibly avoided than to be simply told “No thanks. I’m not interested/dating someone/married/involved in a plot to castrate Justin Bieber and can’t really focus on dating anyone right now.”?

I don’t know. I don’t have anything else to say that I haven’t already said before. Dating while me SUCKS.

Lessons in fashion from this girl I hate.

9 Dec
This picture is perfect for this post because he is sniffing his armpits (maybe because they smell like oranges?!?) and is super fashionable. And also, I love him.

This picture is perfect for this post because he is sniffing his armpit (maybe because it smells like oranges?!?) and is super fashionable. And also, I love him. Source

I have done the unthinkable.

I have switched to a mail order, organic, antiperspirant-and-aluminum-free, natural deodorant. That shit burns like a motherfucker and makes my pits reek of oranges, but at least I’m not absorbing all the toxins of commercial deodorant! That’s right, I’m on my way to being toxin free! Please pass the Pepsi-soaked, bacon-wrapped Nacho Cheese Doritos.

In other random announcements, I want to thank the readers (and maybe the good Captain herself?) of Captain Awkward for stopping by, following, commenting, and just being generally awesome people. Thank you for the encouragement and laughs and advice and sudden spike in Internet traffic. I love you and am sending you Jedi Hugs.

And now, on with the rambling, semi-coherent, potentially offensive show!

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I learn something new everyday. For instance, just yesterday I learned that it is possible to simultaneously and suddenly almost fall and vomit while simply walking to one’s car. And no, you don’t have to feel the least bit nauseous or unsteady on your feet! Surprises abound!

It is in the spirit of life-long learning that I must admit that one of the many sources I pull from when it comes to looking my version of good is from this girl I fucking hate.

I can’t go into why I hate her, unfortunately, because it is a pretty great story if I do say so myself, but let’s just establish that there’s this girl, whom I hate, that dresses pretty freaking rad the majority of the time. While I glare at her through squinted eyes and imagine her eventual and well-deserved downfall, I also secretly take notes on her various ensembles and attempt to recreate them in a way that works for my body, personal style, and station in life. God, I hate her so much!

Here are some of the things I’ve learned from watching this pretentious little snot that I try to incorporate into my wardrobe without being such a raging bitch about it:

  • Use Classics as Your Foundation
    I think that those of us who want to push the fashion and style envelope, even just a wee bit, may tend to shy away from classic pieces and silhouettes. We assume that they’re boring or that everyone will have them and the point of cultivating our individual look  is to stand out from the crowd! Well, let me tell you, this girl I hate has a great skeleton of classics that she then adds her own meat and muscle to, if you’ll allow me to indulge in the metaphor. For example, now that the weather has turned cold, she has chosen a simple, knee-length, black wool coat. No mandarin collar, no technicolor puffy-down parka for her. Simple lines, classic cut. She’s in style from winter to winter as she skulks about in that coat, thinking she’s better than everyone. But she’s not! She SUCKS! Anyway, I learned from her example. I came very close to buying a military-inspired winter coat, which, arguably, is a trend that comes around again almost every season, but I instead went with a knee-length wool blend with a classic collar and buttons. However, instead of just basic black, I chose a tasteful leopard print in a variety of neutral shades because I’m not lame like SOME people.
  • Don’t Be Afraid of Color and Pattern
    As a fat woman who is learning to embrace her body as it is, I am discovering how important it is not to stay in the comfortable embrace of head-to-toe solid black. I’m not an Italian widow in mourning; I’m young(ish) and full of life (sometimes)! I want my clothes to express those things. This girl I hate has never met a color or a pattern she didn’t like and isn’t afraid to mix. She isn’t afraid to loudly share her opinions either, no matter how asinine they are, but I digress. Though I’m throwing some of their hard and fast style rules out the window as I cultivate my own, I still have a deep love for Stacy and Clinton of What Not to Wear and fully embrace the notion as coined by them of “It doesn’t have to match; it has to go.” I haven’t yet delved into head-to-toe contrasting or complimentary color and/or pattern, but when I’m ready to take the plunge, this girl I hate has given me many examples of what can work. Recently, she wore a blue and white French (or breton)-striped thin boat-neck sweater, not-quite-Kelly green jeans, maroon dress socks, and Cognac-brown Oxfords. You’re probably raising an eyebrow or two in disbelief, but it worked! Just wish she had the wherewithal to work as hard on not being jerk.
  • Give a Small, Tasteful Nod to “Counterculture”
    I’m not a tattoo fan, but I wanted a nose ring for more than a decade. Last spring I took the plunge and got a little crystal stud that I’ll be changing to a hoop and back again in my nostril. This girl I hate also has a nose ring. If it floats your boat, I think it can be fun and important to incorporate body art and/or jewelery into your overall look. It may be just me, but I think that body art and/or jewelery can also send the message of where one stands on social issues, as this form of self-expression is typically associated with “the left”. I’m sure that’s why this girl I hate has a nose ring. And I’m sure she also thinks she’s a gay rights activist because she had a bisexual roommate once. Ugh.
  • Embrace Your Hair Texture and Experiment with Color and Hats
    After years of chemically straightening my hair, I went natural in 2010 and have never felt more free. People who’ve known me both relaxed and natural have said that embracing my curls suits me better than straight hair ever did. I think I just might believe them! This girl I hate has big, bouncy curls and waves that she used to diminish with the blow-dryer and flat iron, but she’s now embraced her hair’s natural texture. She’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about her “fabulous” hair and is a year-round hat wearer. Not to hide her hair, but as a kicky accessory to accentuate it. The smug expression on her dumb face can be seen peeking out from under floppy brims in the summer and all manner of berets the rest of the year. She also changes her hair color rather frequently, favoring semi-permanent darker shades that won’t be quite as rough on her tresses. Semi-permanent dye will fade and wash away rather quickly, which is perfect for a person who believes relationships to be as interchangeable and disposable as a Annie Hall-inspired hat and a bottle of Chestnut Majesty hair color.

So, there’s a taste of what I’ve learned about fashion from this girl I hate. I didn’t even touch on tortoiseshell frames, the men’s wear influences so prevalent in her wardrobe, or the importance of thrifting! Well, whatever. She’s an insipid twit and I hate her and does anybody know if they make that dress she’s wearing in a 16/18?

I’m asking for a friend.

On staying positive when everyone thinks you suck.

7 Sep

I dunno. I typed “online dating makes me want to die” in Google Images and this picture came up. Source

So, I got drunk and signed up for Match.com. Again.

I’ve only been on for a week and I’m already losing hope. I’ve read skimmed a number of self-help books on dating and they all said the same thing about online dating: RUN, BITCH, RUN!

No, all the books said that women will be inundated with emails and messages from potential suitors. However, if their inbox stays empty, it means that they are fat, or ugly, or fat and ugly (or possibly came across as boring, stupid, or crazy in their profile, but we all know that 99% of men aren’t actually reading a word in anyone’s profile). Guess what condition my inbox is in? If you guessed that my inbox is a lot like my other box, you guessed right. I’m pretty sure I just saw a tumbleweed fall out of my underwear. It’s probably on its way to meet up with its cousin from my email account at Match.com. They go there to hang out and laugh at me.

I’ve received exactly one email since joining. I’ve received four ‘winks’, which is a nonsensical method for indecisive weirdos to tell other weirdos that they’re “interested” without actually bothering to write something. Three of those winks were from men who looked to be about my father’s age, though they claimed to be younger. One of the men appeared to have some sort of tooth and gum disease. The fourth man was a lesbian.

Two men liked one of the nine pictures I posted to my profile. One of them didn’t post any pictures and hadn’t bothered to answer any of the questions, including the ones with preset responses, like height and body type. The other guy looked like a murderer. He also hadn’t answered any questions other than claiming to be 6’4 and 41 years old. He posted one shot of himself unsmiling in front of a wall of graffiti. He had on a jacket, tie, and blazer, a ball cap cocked to the side, humungous dark shades, baggy jeans and sneakers. The little I could see of his face was set in an ugly scowl and covered in mysterious scars. The next two pictures he posted were of him in the same outfit, wearing the same menacing expression, but this time dragging a similarly dressed toddler by the hand, seemingly against his will (his AND the toddler’s) down an abandoned street. How fun! An action shot!

I always write a quick but gracious note or send a polite ‘thanks, but no thanks!’ response generated by Match to all the serial killers in training that take the time to contact me. As my adult life has been utterly filled with rejection, I know that it certainly hurts, but that being ignored is far more infuriating. I mean really, how dare you? You can’t even bother to send an email that says “You’re too ugly for me to consider fucking, but good luck out there”? I’m so beneath your time and effort that even acknowledging that I found you and your profile interesting through a three-word email (“Thanks, but no.”) is too much of a strain for your delicate fingers? What, you’ve got women lined up around the block, stacked one on top of the other in your bedroom and you couldn’t get through the throng of admirers tearing off their bras to reach your laptop? Look, dickwad, we all spent a nonrefundable $100.00 because we aren’t getting laid in the real world. No one is checking for us. Unless you’re one of those utter assholes that is so busy and attractive and successful that you “don’t have time” to date and your only hope for screening meeting people is by letting a website do the work for you. If you are or think you are one of these gems of humanity, go fuck yourself, hard, often, and well.

I realize that I sound a tad angry. I am angry. And hurt. And embarrassed. And hopeless. And out one hundred bucks in this shit economy. I’m mostly so upset because those books never say what you’re supposed to do if you’re one of the fat, ugly, boring, stupid, crazy women that no one who wasn’t recently released from prison will write or respond to. They’ll spend a paragraph telling you to lose weight (REALLY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I hadn’t thought of that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for pointing that out!!!!!! ERMAHGERD, it’s a good thing you put your wealth of knowledge on paper!!!!! How would humanity have CONTINUED if you hadn’t pointed out the obvious???????????????), pay to have your picture taken (But my local Glamour Shots is closed!), or have a friend look over your profile and “correct” it for you. Ha. My friends are a bunch of liars who tell me that I’m pretty and not fat in a bad way and smart and funny and that any guy would be lucky to have me. Those con artists have been blowing smoke up my ass for years; there’s no way in hell I’m getting any honest feedback from them. Except for the one who told me to read The Hunger Games. She’s BRUTAL, which is why I don’t ask her anything.

I’m just sad, man! I don’t want to die alone, man! All the chubby chaser websites are scary, man! My immediate solution is to search only for dudes who describe themselves as “heavyset”, Match.com’s kind descriptor for “My tits are bigger than yours”. I kid you not, out of all the non-smoking, social drinking, want-to-have-kids-someday people with penises that live 30 miles away from my zip code, only 16 of them were honest enough to describe themselves as heavyset. I had to add “stocky” and “a few extra pounds” to really get the fatties to come out and play. Hell, I’m on there telling half-truths myself by describing my body as “curvy”. I only picked that because they haven’t yet added “If I sit just so, I can feel my gunt (not a typo) resting ever so gently on my upper thighs, but you’d never know that if you saw me clothed” as an option.

I’m not particularly attracted to or repulsed by fat men. It all depends. No two fats are alike. I have no type. I see what I think I might like and then wait to see what kind of crap comes out of his mouth and then like him more or less if his teeth are nice and his brain seems to function properly. But I figure I might have better luck with the boys who are pre-diabetic, although we as a society lived through 10 years of “The King of Queens” and every romantic comedy starring Kevin James ever which makes your average Tub-O-Lard think he too deserves and can pull a hottie with a tight body who’ll be willing to resuscitate his ass once a fortnight.

Go to hell. Source

Hey, but it’s only been a week. Ariel insisted on writing the first draft of my profile and wrote “I’m cheerful and focused on the bright side of things”. I gave her major side eye and changed it to “I try to stay cheerful and focused on the bright side of things”. I initially thought it was an absurd statement to use to describe me. Cheerful? Bright side? The fact that I haven’t called Match headquarters and demanded a refund (Hey, I’ve done it. Ask eharmony.) and that I’m focusing on guys that “look like” me is proof that I do try. I created this place, this blog, as my sounding board, mostly because the co-pays for weekly therapy sessions really add up, but also because I want to make people laugh, even if it is at my expense. Look at that. Evidence of dormant cheerfulness and bright sided tendencies. Whodda thunk?

I just really want to be loved. And not 20 or 50-lbs. from now. Not when I’ve “learned to love myself”. I’m not dead or 300-lbs. I love myself, okay? I will even settle for a strong like coupled with some trips to the movies and light spanking. I just need some validation that I’m sort of okay looking and interesting and a living, breathing red-blooded woman from a man that won’t kill me or ruin my credit.

I will also settle for everything in the picture of Zach Galifianakis from “The Hangover 2”, but don’t let that get around. I don’t want people thinking I’m easy. Or that they can pay me in watermelon. Because that’s super racist.

A ICSHSS Public Service Announcement.

5 Aug

“I have confidence in me! I think.” Source

As much as I loathe him,  – and not just ’cause of his proclivity for peeing on preteens; I truly think the man is just yucky poo-poo in general; his talent questionable, and his songs sucktastic – I can’t get R.Kelly screeching “This is a radio message!” out of my head since I’ve decided to call this post a public service announcement. Whatever, you’re not in my head; it makes perfect sense to me.

I’m going to write a little something about the idea of confidence as it relates to dating. Or really, as it relates to other people’s perception when it comes to one’s dating success, or lack thereof. In my case, it’s lack thereof. Remember, I called this blog “I Can See Why She’s Single.” for a reason, ya’ll.

This post is going to be one of many that is super awkward, mostly because I will be writing about people that I like an awful lot and spend tons of time with, and I will be calling them on what I think is their total bullshit. I will also be going on and on about the undeniable beauty of another, which though complementary, is still crazy awkward for all involved. I mean, it is for me. And yes, people do go on and on about my supposed beauty, and it always makes me feel like a freak, and not because I am a walking sack of insecurities, which I may very well be – I’ll get to that – but because, dude, it’s weird. More on that probably later, but first, let’s get to the bullshit!

So, I whine to my friends about how no guys like me pretty often. You try not having sex for 13 years and see what kind of mood you’re in. Anyway, I whine a lot, and two of my friends whom I shall forever refer to on this blog as Dick and Jane because they are adorable and always together and would make great subjects for a hilarious series of children’s books, are often on the receiving end of my seemingly never-ending complaints about my banishment to The Barren Valley of Singledom. Dick and Jane try to always be SUPER encouraging about everything, which I attribute to their being raised in a religious cult that if it were to join forces with the Mormons would conquer us all. (They are gonna hate that. The attributing anything positive about them to the religious cult they escaped bit, not the conquering us all bit. When I pointed that out, Jane laughed. I don’t know where Dick was.)

Even though they are beacons of support in the dark, empty cavern that is my dating life, they also make an attempt to keep it real. Part of their attempt at imparting some realness into my sex love-starved brain involves the notion of confidence and self-esteem. Dick and Jane like to constantly remind me that I’d be luckier in lurve if I were confident. I constantly remind them that I am confident, in my own way, but I am also a realist. They disagree, we argue, and then they like to once again tell me the story of Ariel and Eric.

Ariel is our beautiful friend that I have decided to call Ariel because whenever I describe Ariel to people that haven’t met her yet I say “She looks like a mermaid!” She is petite and slim, yet curvy where a girl ought to be, and has raven hair that flows down her back, and porcelain skin sprinkled with freckles, and pouty pink lips, and these blue-green eyes the color of the sea on a glorious summer day. She is also kind, thoughtful, smart, talented, and funny, but nobody cares about that when you’re as stunning as she is. She is perfection.

Ariel met her boyfriend Eric (not his real name, but it is the name of the prince in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, so I thought it was fitting to call him that, and our Eric is handsome the way a prince should be, and also has luxurious hair like Prince Eric in the movie) and decided that she found him desirable and declared “You will be mine” to him in her head and he of course agreed that yes, he would be hers, and now they live happily ever after and will someday have adorable, vaguely Asian looking children with black hair and green eyes. Dick and Jane tell me this story over and over and over again. The real story that hasn’t been edited to protect their identity on a blog that nobody but them reads is really cute and I like hearing it and all, but I say the same thing in response every time:

“Yeah, but it’s Ariel. I mean, look at her.”

Dick and Jane tell me that story because they think the moral is “Confident women get boyfriends by being confident!” where I, being the realist, think the moral of the story is actually “Men like beautiful women.” If Ariel looked more like, say this (I’m sorry Rachel! I love you!), then I would agree that they have a valid argument. But because Ariel looks like this if you’re a heterosexual male with no imagination – ahem – or like this and this if you are an awesome nerd with kick-ass taste in books and movies and a disturbingly vivid fantasy life, of course she’s going to get the guy in the end! Attributing her good fortune in love to her “confidence” is absurd and kind of insulting to my intelligence, especially because when asked, Ariel would describe herself as looking like this, but covered in freckles and with worse hair.

Jane will argue that fact with me to the death, because she is kind and likes me despite my many faults. My personality, which she thinks is pretty rad, has deluded the poor girl into thinking that I am very pretty. She thinks that I am just as pretty as Ariel, but what gets in my way is my belief that I am not. I think Jane is wonderful, and I appreciate her opinion, but sister-girl needs to get her eyes checked.

Here’s the part where I’m going to try to convince you, dear reader, that I am not crippled by low self-esteem despite the fact that everything in this post, heck, everything in and about this blog, points to the contrary. I don’t always think I’m ugly and there are times when I think I look down-right beautiful. I will go out and be surprised that no guys tried to holla, or that only one or two did. I don’t let my plus-size body stop me from wearing short skirts or color or horizontal stripes or skinny jeans. I recently cut my hair short and think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made all year. I have plans to buy a fatkini before summer is over. I had an in-depth conversation with a Frenchman who looked like a fashion model on a rooftop in Brooklyn. Would a girl who wasn’t confident do that? Does any of the preceding sound at all like what a girl who has low self-esteem would do?

The thing is, I know that I’m not anywhere near as pretty or as attractive to the opposite sex as Ariel. That’s me being a realist. If you were to ask the average man who’d they rather with the choices being Megan Fox or Jill Scott, the celebrity I am most often told that I resemble, I believe that nine out of 10 of them will choose Megan, including the black men. It’s like comparing chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream to avocado ice cream. Most people won’t even give avocado ice cream a try, but everybody likes chocolate chip cookie dough. That doesn’t make avocado ice cream awful or gross or stupid for existing. It just means that it’s an acquired taste. I am an acquired taste.

What bugs me the most about the whole thing is that when I remind Dick and Jane that Ariel is very hard on her physical appearance when they tout her confidence, they sort of wave away the idea. “But she carries herself confidently” they’ll say. And I don’t? “Well, we know what you really think of yourself” they’ll say. Yeah, but you’re two of my closest friends. Some guy in a bar won’t have a clue. I’ve put on three coats of mascara; there’s no way that I’m carrying myself in a way that isn’t confident. It bothers Jane that I know believe that I’m not as pretty as Ariel. We’re both her special girlfriends; in her sweet eyes, we’re equally gorgeous. Dick is more frank about the whole thing; he agrees with me in a way that is without tact, but that I still sort of appreciate, if only because it helps to prove my point. But yet he can’t let it go that my real problem is “confidence”.

I think it makes Dick and Jane uncomfortable to say “Yeah, Ariel is better looking than you are. She is more conventionally attractive, yet is also more beautiful than your average woman. Of course she got the guy in the end! We’ll stop telling you that story, because it simply doesn’t apply to you.” They already encourage me to do the things that only ugly women are encouraged to do: be friends first so he can see what a great personality you have, talk to him about the things you have in common with him, hang out with him in a group so he can see how much your friends love you. They did forget to tell me to put a paper bag over my head, though.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not angry at Dick and Jane or at Ariel’s beauty. I get that I’m an acquired taste. If I were still thin, and still wore my hair long and relaxed, I too could declare that someone I liked would be mine and it would be so. It was so during my glory days. What irks me is the notion that my (supposed) lack of confidence is a). a thing b). obvious and c). keeping me single. That the things that I think or share privately (or write about in a blog) about myself are obvious to everyone. They’re not. Unless I’m in big time denial, I know they’re not. My whole life has been about perfecting masks; ain’t no way that this one has slipped. I, with natural, short hair and fat body, (and maybe also with brown skin and black identity; we’ll talk about that some other time) am not going to have an easy time with this dating thing. I haven’t. I’m still the same neurotic jerk whether I’m fat or thin, kinky or straight. I’m just a lot easier to take when I’m wrapped in a prettier package.

So, for the public service announcement. It will need to be catchy and memorable, yet informative. I’m thinking of something like “It’s okay; you can tell me. I can take it.”, a reference to the fact that I get that lots of girls are prettier than me and will have an easier time attracting men. No need to sugar coat it in platitudes about how no one will love you if you don’t love yourself (if you’re a fat and/or average looking girl). I’m also throwing around “It’s alright if you think she’s prettier. I do too, but I’m still confident!” I think either would look great headlining brochures instructing folks on how to talk to their more unfortunate looking single female friends.

Oh, wait. I’ve realized that I’ve left something out. Something that is perhaps critical to the story. Dick and Jane use Ariel as an example because of her “confidence” AND because she approached Eric. I’m not into the whole approaching guys thing. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and/or embarrass myself. I mean, imagine how the counter girl at the ice cream shop must feel trying to get people to taste the avocado flavor. It would suck to hear “Ew, avocado??” all day long, am I right? HAHAHAHA! Right?

Shut up. Dick and Jane do not have a point.